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By Alan Ng | March 23, 2022

It doesn’t matter the genre, I’m all about bold storytelling. The soap opera-ish series, Relationships, is wildly bold and insane. This review covers only the first episode, but boy, is it a doozy.

Charlie (Michael Lewis Jr.) was a captain in the military. After a battle in Afghanistan, he fell into a coma, and when all hope was lost, Charlie’s wife fell in love with his brother. The two got involved in a sexual affair during said coma, but then Charlie woke up. Now Charlie is on his own, living in a motel and forced to see Angel (Isabel Meza), a VA therapist, to keep his disability benefits active.

Charlie’s story is child’s play compared to his uncle Mike (Nico James) and aunt Rachael (Carolina Speroterra). After a long day’s work, Rachael walks in on Mike receiving oral pleasure from another dude for money. After getting it all on video, the upset Rachael goes out to drink the image away and winds up in jail for her misery. Needing a ride, her daughter, Laura (Jessica Pastor), picks her up, but in a rush to get to class, Rachael inadvertently sends her father’s sex video instead of Laura’s school project. So now the entire school knows her dad’s secret.

“…Rachael walks in on Mike receiving oral pleasure from another dude for money.”

The last relationship explored in Relationships is the most normal (so far) and is between James (Jonathan Joseph) and Jessica (Amanda Manez). Jessica is pregnant, and James just lost his job. Very little time is spent on this pairing, but damn, this has to go to crazy town at some point.

Relationships is a low-budget indie drama, and you get a sense of that right from the start. When you have no money for your project, a strong narrative is the only thing filmmakers and creatives have to compete with the big studios. I’ve told you that story, and it alone is what has me diving into the next episode. These relationships are insane, and I have to know what’s next.

I need to talk about the acting. It’s decent and borders on over-the-top. Case in point is Carolina Speroterra as Rachael. Catching her husband as a full-time male prostitute would put anyone over the edge, and Carolina goes way over that edge. I’m not sure this was intentional, but it works.

If Relationships was on one of the networks, I’m certain the adult subject matter would have been toned down and sanitized. Thank goodness for indie productions. Eff the networks and tell your story the way you dreamed.

Relationships is available now on TubiTV.

Relationships (2022)

Directed: Lemarze Smith

Written: Lemarze Smith, Jermaine Collins

Starring: Michael Lewis Jr., Carolina Speroterra, Nico James, Stephanie Kirves, Jessica Pastor, Isabel Meza, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Relationships Image

"…these relationships are insane, and I have to know what's next."

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